Balance is the naked truth of nature and this quote holds true especially in case of breath. As the great yogis say, we are the breath we inhale & exhale, the fine line between how much to hold in and how much to let go, creates the necessary ‘equilibrium’.
The gifted technique of controlled breathing, pranayama, can enable one to achieve this balance.
As the name suggests, ‘Prana’, the vital force and ‘Yama’, control of that energy, when the two are clubbed they have far-reaching benefits.
Though the world is now accepting & appreciating the benefits of pranayama, everybody is not aware of the real art of balancing the breath. This art of breathing can be mastered with ease on understanding the twin systems in the body, popularly known as Yin & Yang, masculine & feminine, Shiva and Parvati or Solar or Lunar.
For everyday functioning & basic understanding, Working in cross coordination, the left side of the body is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain and vice-a-versa.
By practicing pranayama one can attain the balance in these two systems. The flow of the breath in & out simultaneously occurs from both the nostrils under balanced breathing. This type of breathing is experienced and practiced by the great seers, yogis & attuned souls.
A balanced breath stimulates all the chakras, works on the hidden aspects of human aura, boosts the immune system and slows down the ageing process. Additionally, it opens up the third eye chakra, the keeper of immeasurable potential unexplored by the human mind in a waking state.
What is this: There are three main Nadi Systems in the body, with the central one as Sushumna Nadi and other two, Pingala & Ida Nadi. The right nostril is connected to Pingala & left to Ida. These two are directly connected to the brain, which in turns balances the two hemispheres, leading to a neutral state of mind. When alternate nostril breathing is practiced, it purifies and balances both of these systems. When the breath starts flowing freely and smoothly through both nostrils, the mind attains a state of joy and calmness, necessary to access deeper realms of consciousness.
Nadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple yet powerful technique that settles the mind, body, and emotions. You can use it to quiet your mind before beginning a meditation practice, and it is particularly helpful to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.
With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel frazzled or find ourselves doing too many things at once, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment. This breath is great for restoring that necessary balance.
In addition to calming the mind and reversing stress, alternate nostril breathing also:
Just breathe normally without strain for several minutes, (up to ten), and you will find that your breathing settles and slows. Along with this settling you will probably get a sense of relaxation and well being. Now you are in a perfect state to begin a meditation.